Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Switzerland on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Switzerland.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Healthcare

You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

You can use your GHIC or EHIC in Switzerland to get state-provided, medically necessary healthcare at a reduced cost (or sometimes for free) if you are a:

  • UK national
  • Swiss national
  • citizen of the EU
  • refugee
  • stateless person
  • dependant or survivor of someone with one of these nationalities or statuses

You can only use your GHIC or EHIC in Switzerland if one of the above applies to you – even if you can use your GHIC or EHIC in the EU.

You may also be asked to show evidence of your nationality when accessing healthcare using a GHIC or EHIC in Switzerland.

You’ll get treatment on the same terms as a Swiss national.

If you do not have your EHIC or GHIC with you or have lost it, call the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday, 9am to 3pm

A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel.

A GHIC or EHIC does not cover all health-related costs. For example, it does not cover:

  • being flown back to the UK for medical reasons
  • ongoing medical treatment
  • non-urgent treatment

Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

If you’re living in Switzerland, you can also find more information on healthcare for residents in our Living in Switzerland guide.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 or 144 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment, you should contact your insurance or medical assistance company immediately.

Health risks

There is an increased risk of tick bites from April to October. The Federal Office of Public Health warns of a significant number of lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) cases annually. For more information read insect and tick bite avoidance